Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tranquility Lost (Orig Post Date 4/1/10)

There was a break-in today. On my street. Two doors down from my house. At 9:30 in the morning. Broad daylight. The filthy little bastards boldly propped the front door open and cleaned the place out. The best part? A neighbor across the street saw it all and didn’t think that she needed to call the police. Thought it was perfectly normal to see a bunch of punk kids loading several large flat panel TV’s into the back of a gray car along with several other items, then drive off down the street with the door on the car hanging open because the TV was too big to fit in the backseat.

Really? Not even the faintest glimmer that there was something wrong with that situation? Her response to the police for not calling while the robbery was in progress: “They always have so many cars coming and going from their place. I just didn’t think anything of it.”

Well, she has one part right: she didn’t think.

Have we as a society checked out of the obligation to check up on each other? To keep an eye out for evil doers? For wrongs against our fellow man? Have we all just collectively and silently agreed to turn a blind eye, to ignore a crime in progress, because we don’t want to get involved? To come up with a weak excuse when our lack of action is questioned by the victim or the authorities?

Having been on the victim side of that situation - not once, but twice (the second time just a few months ago) - the feeling of violation, of helplessness and anger is all consuming. It haunts you at night. It makes you wake at 2 AM, sure you heard something outside. In some cases, it makes you consider buying extra protection for your home, for your family.

Why do these people feel that it is their right to walk into someone else’s home, and just take what they want? Why do they think it’s ok to take from someone who has worked hard to earn the money to afford those things, when they apparently have not? When caught, will they reason it away that they were let go from their job, and had to resort to stealing from others to provide for their family? Will we, as a society, then go easier on them because they were just doing what they felt they had to? I certainly hope not.

However, I fear that this kind of thing will become more and more prevalent in the coming weeks and months. As the weather warms, home invasions rise. Combine that with the recession finally truly starting to affect Iowa, just in time for the extension on unemployment benefits to expire, and you have the perfect mix to create a major crime wave.

Get ready Iowa, the ripple effect is already in motion. It’s just a matter of time before it touches you.

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